Happy Feature Friday!
This week we are featuring Mo Milligan of Destiny City Threads! We just love her fun, unique and quirky embroidery art. Among her embroidery hoops you can find bright colors, pretty botanicals and sassy sayings. Mo is currently getting her Etsy store up and running and after you guys see her work you’ll be happy she’s setting up shop. We can see all her pieces being the perfect little accents to brighten up your space. To learn more about how Mo started Destiny City Threads read on!
: Tell us about yourself.
: I’m a Pacific Northwest native, but I love to travel and have had the opportunity to go on some amazing adventures stateside and abroad. I have always been an avid reader, but have found that since having two young children my attention span has been reduced to that of a gnat and I don’t read as much as I used to. I love music and try to see a few live shows every year, although a lot of my favorites aren’t around any longer. I have a sweet tooth, I’m a coffee addict and I love pickled foods.
: How did Destiny City Threads start?
: I wanted to make a unique gift for a family member and I decided to design and stitch an embroidery hoop. I loved the process of thinking of the design, sketching it out and then picking the colors. I found the actual stitching relaxing and even meditative in a way. I realized after I completed the gift that I really enjoyed everything about the craft, and that I had so many ideas floating around in my head that it seemed fitting to roll with it and see where the new venture took me.
: Where did your love for embroidery begin?
: I’ve always had an appreciation for needle and thread work in many different forms. My grandmother was an avid quilter most of her life and my mom used to sew my sister and I many of our outfits when we were younger. For the last 10 years or so I’ve collected some tea towel sets locally that had “day of the week” designs hand embroidered, so I’ve admired the craft for a while. It wasn’t until this past year that I decided I wanted to try it out for myself.
: We love your “Stay” series! Describe the process that goes into these unique pieces?
: These are some of my favorite designs to work on. I feel like most people can identify with at least one of the phrases. I started with “stay wild” which to me really just means stay young at heart and I chose fun bright colors to reflect that. I wanted to experiment with more negative space which I started doing by accident when I ran out of thread on a previous set of designs of leaves. I love the look of the letters standing out amidst the bright satin stitches and I enjoyed the final look so much that I decided to make it a series. I have finished 5 styles and I have 1-2 more to complete the series.
: How do you come up with your design concepts?
: Design ideas pop up from all over. It could be a phrase in a show I love, lyrics from a song. A funny conversation I’ve overheard, inside jokes with my friends or the beauty of plant life admired while out for a walk. Most of my ideas come to me while I’m driving, my mind wanders as I listen to whatever music is queued up and I start brainstorming ideas. Sometimes I hear something and there’s an instant lightbulb, other times I have a thread of an idea and I play with it in my mind for a while before something solidifies.
: You live in Tacoma, WA. What inspires you about your home?
: The natural beauty in the PNW is pretty sensational. I have always lived sandwiched between the sea and the mountains and I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. Although my designs don’t focus exclusively on these northwest features, their beauty is a constant uplifting force that provides me with a lot of creative inspiration.
: What is one of your favorite embroidery techniques to use?
: I love the satin stitch, its a simple stitch but it has to be one of my favorites. The technique is simple, but it leaves such a clean and appealing look.
: You currently sell your creations through Salt & Pine Market. What do you like most about selling your pieces?
: Salt & Pine is a pop up shop that will be happening in Seattle this May. I’m really excited to be a part of this collaboration of local creatives. I am also currently finishing up my Etsy shop which I hope to having up and running by the end of this month. I have sold a few pieces when people have reached out to me through Instagram. I love the idea of something I created with love brightening up a home or work space.
: What do you do when you’re in a creative rut?
: Rest. Go for a walk and listen to music. If I push and push and push consistently and don’t take the time to rest, I can almost physically feel my energy and desire to create wane a little bit. If I take the time to listen to those internal messages, get outside, take a nap (which rarely happens!) or sneak in some mindless tv watching I feel like my batteries are recharged and I get a renewed energy and drive to create.
: Any advice?
: Roll with it. Some of my favorite pieces have come about by accident or experimentation while drawing or stitching. When you relax your expectations of yourself I think you’re more susceptible to letting ideas in. Experiment and don’t be afraid to scrap an idea if it doesn’t feel like “you”. Also google is my best friend when it comes to trying to figure out certain techniques or researching ideas.